I say…..

Fred loves sitting in the grass

Fred

I know that we all have discouraging thoughts, and the one that seems to really grab me is, “You haven’t made any progress at all (in whatever area I’m currently fretting about) and at this point in your life, you probably never will.”

This was the thought that assailed me the other day, and honestly, I felt like crying, screaming, and giving up. It just seemed so obviously true. I was steeped in self-pity. I felt like a failure and the worse I felt, the more my mind came up with evidence that my feelings about myself were true. New negative thoughts seemed to jump into my mind, crowding in with the other negative thoughts until, energetically, I probably resembled a sinking ship.

I have tools for times like these but am reluctant to use them because in this state, I’m pretty sure that they won’t work either. Even though I have hundreds of examples of success when I try, in the moment of despair, I cannot imagine feeling better. I’m sure this is the reason why I wallow for hours instead of minutes. But eventually, I do try to work with my mind…when I can’t stand myself any longer.

This is what I did the other day. I went for a walk and began talking to myself. I asked myself the question, “What have you done in the last six months that has been helpful, to anyone?” and I made my mind look for the good…even the smallest thing, like asking Jack to put up netting around the base of a tree so the robins would be safe, came to mind. And the good, the lovely, the uplifting thoughts began to come, one after the other, until within 15 minutes I felt so good that I wanted to scream, “Thank you! I love my life!”

I was not only feeling grateful, but I couldn’t believe that I’d felt so bad a few minutes earlier. Nothing on the outside had changed to change my feelings. I spoke new words about myself and my life….that was it…and my life lit up.

Just the idea that we can illuminate our minds, bodies, emotions, and worlds, by speaking and thinking positive, uplifting, encouraging, words of Truth, seems so simple that this, our most powerful tool as human/spiritual beings, is often overlooked, dismissed, or forgotten. I once read, “Words are containers of light“.

So what do you say….how about taking today to think only the most beautiful thoughts about yourself? I’d be delighted to hold that intention for you too.

 

true power comes from within

examples of power poses

A bunch of people emailed to say that the link to this TED talk didn’t come through so I’m re-posting yesterday’s blog along with a photo of the poses. I’d originally heard Amy Cuddy on NPR and as she spoke about her personal journey of feeling like she didn’t belong, and what changed for her, I was deeply moved. At the end of the talk she basically said that making this small change in the way we “stand” can dramatically change our lives. She went on to say that she wanted to get this information out to help those who may have no resources other than their own minds to work with.

I just watched a great TED talk given by Amy Cuddy (a professor at Harvard Business School) and wanted to share it with you. It’s about 20 minutes long and toward the end, she talks about how changing our “postures” for only 2 minutes will change our minds and our lives.

a new little painting of mine called, The Invitation, that I'm offering for $44. If you are interested, you can find details on MY ARTWORK PAGE

a new little painting of mine called, The Invitation, that I’m offering for $44. If you are interested, you can find details on MY ARTWORK PAGE

This entry was posted on June 4, 2015. 4 Comments

true power comes from within

examples of power poses

          

A bunch of people emailed to say that the link to this TED talk didn’t come through so I’m re-posting yesterday’s blog along with a photo of the poses. I’d originally heard Amy Cuddy on NPR and as she spoke about her personal journey of feeling like she didn’t belong, and what changed for her, I was deeply moved. At the end of the talk she basically said that making this small change in the way we “stand” can dramatically change our lives. She went on to say that she wanted to get this information out to help those who may have no resources other than their own minds to work with.

I just watched a great TED talk given by Amy Cuddy (a professor at Harvard Business School) and wanted to share it with you. It’s about 20 minutes long and toward the end, she talks about how changing our “postures” for only 2 minutes will change our minds and our lives.

a new little painting of mine called, The Invitation, that I'm offering for $44. If you are interested, you can find details on MY ARTWORK PAGE

a new little painting of mine called, The Invitation, that I’m offering for $44. If you are interested, you can find details on MY ARTWORK PAGE

This entry was posted on June 3, 2015. 5 Comments

a million tiny kindnesses

Jack and I were driving through a small city several evenings ago and noticed that traffic had stopped about 50 feet in front of us. We couldn’t really make out what was happening but could see a man with long dreadlocks and a huge backpack, standing in the middle of the road, waving his arms. Within a minute or so, traffic began to move. As we got closer we saw that the man, who was now on the side of the road, was responding to someone in a passing car who had yelled something to him.

Slowly driving past, we noticed a family of geese (mother, father, and many tiny babies) confidently waddling past the man who was smiling and waving as cars passed and thanked him. We did the same.

We felt so good on the ride home…so privilaged to witness such a sweet act. This story didn’t make the evening news but it could have, along with a million other tiny kindnesses that are happening at every moment of every day….some witnessed, some not, but all of them a wonder.

detail from a new painting of mine,

detail from my new painting, “Create your world” for sale on MY ARTWORK

Seek and you will find….just make sure that what you are looking for is something you want

 

a new painting

“Innocent Mind” a new painting of mine. I saw all of the blue balls as ideas which as soon as they were “captured” by the open mind, lit up. This painting is for sale on MY ARTWORK PAGE

For a while now, I’ve been working with the concept that all emotions are just energy; not good or bad, positive or negative, simply energy. The easiest time for me to notice this energy is at night when I’m lying in bed and it’s dark and quiet, and usually it’s what I would’ve called “negative” energy that gets my attention. What I did in the past, and what almost always kept me up and led to a poor night’s sleep, was trying to figure out what was wrong.

The scenario when like this: I’d fall asleep, or be on the edge of sleep, and suddenly feel jarred awake with hot, spiky-feeling energy running through my body. I’d throw back the covers, usually in a sweat, and begin the mental investigation to find out what was wrong. My mind was on a “search and label” mission…and it always found the unhappy answer to what I’d done at sometime in the past, or what wasn’t going to work out well in the future.

And then everything changed.

One night, I woke up the same way but instead of letting my mind grab me by the wrist and take me down that fretting and well-worn path of searching for the bad, I said, “This is just energy. I wonder what this perfect energy is?” The more I repeated this, the more my body relaxed. I felt as though I was experiencing a miracle. The question, “What is this perfect energy?”, was like a magic pill to my body, mind, and emotions. I didn’t ask the question and then engage my conscious mind, it was more like the question was a stone dropped into a pool and the answers came back to me, on their own, like the ripples bouncing off a distant shore.

One day when I was speaking with a client who had been having the same night difficulties as I’d had, the words, “The mind is always wants to label and box-up everything, and usually those labels are negative. Give it something positive to search for, and it will”, came out of my mouth and I suddenly realized what I’d been doing at night myself; I’d given my mind a new search (one that it didn’t have an answer to) so it had to look for that…it had to look for what this “perfect energy” was.

Seek and we will find. What are we looking for? Tell the mind to look for what is wrong, and it will find endless things to satisfy that question. It will tell us what is wrong with us, our families, our friends, our work, our finances, our health, our sleeping patterns…. and all of the low, unhappy, crippling, emotions that go along with these answers will accompany this search and be ours too.

But tell the mind to look for what is perfect and watch what it comes up with….watch how the body and mind respond to this command. It brings peace, freedom from fear, and blessed rest, as it begins to search for what is right, good, and perfect within us, and our world.

 

time to fly...the fourth (and last) baby robin left the nest this morning.

time to fly…the fourth (and last) baby robin left the nest on Tuesday morning (my father’s 90th birthday)

 

Perfect timing

 

the babies are getting big!

the babies are getting big!

Several days ago, my mother called and asked me to change her airline reservation for an upcoming trip. She said that she wasn’t comfortable with the original schedule, which involved driving the final leg of the trip, and that she wanted to not only change her original flights but to add two more. When we hung up, I felt the strong urge to do it right then, but I hesitated for a second because I had a full day of appointments that were about to begin in 20 minutes….yet I really wanted to do it, so I called the airline. I was feeling very good at the time.

Within ten minutes all flights were changed and the new ones added but the agent said that there would be a $200 fee/penalty for the change. I then asked her a simple question, “Can you waive the fee?” She put me on hold and came back a couple of minutes later saying that the fee had been waived. I thanked her, hung up and began my day with no delay.

Perfect timing…Divine timing….Miraculous timing…

I believe that there is a Divine Flow to this entire experience that we call life, and when we are feeling that flow, it is the perfect time to make those calls, take whatever action feels right, or trust the thought/idea that just seemed to appear from out of the blue. It is equally important is to wait (when possible) and not do anything when I’m angry, frustrated or afraid.

I’ve made more messes out of situations by taking action when I was not in a good frame of mind. I’d get upset about something and then feel that I needed to do something to relieve the anxiety that felt unbearable. I wanted resolution so I would feel better, damn it! Usually this involved talking with someone who I was upset with; whether that someone was the representative of a company, a family member, or really anyone who I was perceiving as the cause of my trouble, and my goal was to get them to do something that I wanted so I could feel better. It rarely worked and often I just caused more anger or upset. I almost always felt out of control.

I didn’t know that I had to work with my own mind first. I didn’t know that I could get quiet inside, imagine the outcome that I wanted, and then wait until I felt “moved”, trust that feeling, and then do “it”. Being out of control is not the same as “being moved”.  When I am allowing the spirit within me to inform my timing it can feel like an adventure …but it never feels like I am preparing for a fight.

 

 

Many people are using personal power instead of God-power, which always brings unhappy reaction. Personal power means forcing personal will…The only person you can change is yourself. When you are undisturbed by a situation it falls away of its own weight. Your life is outpictured by the sum-total of your subconscious beliefs. Wherever you go, you take these conditions with you. As you change, all the conditions around you will change! People will change! Florence Scovel Shinn

This entry was posted on May 15, 2015. 9 Comments

Faith

Happy Mother's Day!

                 Happy Mother’s Day!

A few weeks ago, I posted a picture of the robin who had made her nest right next to my window. I’ve been watching her ever since, and a few days ago I spied four little heads peeking up. At first I was thrilled to have such an intimate look into the world of these birds, but then I noticed that I was worrying about them. Did they have enough to eat? Was the mother safe when she ventured out to look for food (first for herself and now for the baby birds too)? What would happen to the babies if…..

I realized what I was doing and what it really meant. The question I had to ask myself was, “Do you believe that the Field of Love/God/Universal Good is taking care of those robins (even better than you could, Mary) and that worry means that you lack faith?” The truth was that I was opting for “concern” over faith. I also realized that this was how I often approached areas of life that were important to me. It is fairly easy for me to trust that all is well when I don’t feel emotionally involved with an outcome, but when I do…when something is closer to my heart, then where is my faith?

It takes some effort on my part to discipline my mind away from worry. At times it feels more natural to worry than to have faith that all is (and will be) well, but really, how could it not? Most of us were raised in atmospheres of worry (at home, church and school) and were even taught that worry was what responsible, loving, people did.

It came as quite a shock to me when years ago I had the revelation that I worried about almost everything. I worried about my weight, health, what I ate, how much sleep I was getting, what I was going to wear to events, how much money I was spending, where that money would come from, what my children thought of me and  how they would turn out having me for a mother, had I been good enough, my hair color, how much hair I had, wrinkles, how much lead was in the gasoline that I just purchased, how I would feel if ____ were elected president, how many pesticides were in the ground…..I could go on, but you get the point. I was living the Helen Ready song, “You and me against the world”, except it was really just me. How was I going to take care of everything in this difficult, complicated, sometimes cruel, world? How was I going to take care of and protect myself and those I loved?

It was a very odd moment when I, Mary Muncil, who had gone to divinity school, studied world religions, read hundreds of spiritual texts and attended more workshops and retreats than i cared to count, realized that I didn’t have faith…or should I say, I didn’t have faith in the Goodness, Perfection, and Wonder of this Universe. I did have faith that every “sin” would be punished, every mistake would be counted (and held against me) and that at my core, I was a flawed human being, but faith that everything was being done for me? Faith that everything I needed: ideas, openings, opportunities, money, and assistance of all kinds, was constantly being offered not only to me, but to everyone? From the moment I realized that this was the faith that I’d been searching for my entire life, I began to change.

In time, I’ve come to have faith that all is well, all is perfect (including you and me and the birds), and that all is being magnificently orchestrated by something (that I am also a part of but cannot comprehend with my conscious mind) for the good of us all.

Do I forget this? Yes, I do. But I know when I’ve done that because I notice that I’m worrying….and when I notice that, I try to gently bring myself back by saying, “All is well. I have faith that everything is being taken care of. All is well.”